Deep Dive in Designing Intelligence

Through designing we are able to overcome the complex problems that face us, but could we be designing more intelligently? The factors that make up human intelligence are well established but how that human intelligence can be combined with artificial intelligence to co-create new practices of design is an exciting new area of study. As well as collaboration and creativity designing involves elements of ambiguity, imprecision, coevolution, narrative, problem reframing, and prototyping. Any intelligence, human or artificial, needs to ‘understand’ these aspects of designing for effective design outcomes to be reached.

In this course we explore the question of what designing intelligence is by focussing on the idea of conversation in the design process. Why conversations? Conversation forms an important part of any collaborative design process. To understand designing, we thus need to understand the role that conversation plays in the design process. This can be done both analytically — by looking at transcripts of actual conversation — and creatively — by producing models of possible conversations.

You will explore what kind of conversations take place in designing and learn how to analyse them from different perspectives. You’ll then look at how to model conversations using AI and machine learning tools. This will help you to identify opportunities for human/AI collaboration. At the end of the course, you will have gained valuable analytical skills as well as appreciating new possibilities for designer-AI collaborations in the design process.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to:

1. Explain the linguistic categories in transcripts of design conversations using appropriate tools.

2. Illustrate with examples the form and content of a design conversation, and the difference between design conversations and other forms of conversations.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of design conversations by simulating them using language models.

The sessions will be moderated by prof. Peter Lloyd and dr. Senthil Chandrasegaran.